“This is the last time I’ll ask.  Hand it over.”

Grant meant business.  It was obvious that the past few days had taken a toll on him.  The bloodshed wasn’t easy for either of us to swallow, but it had to be done.  There was no other way to protect our father.

“Do you think this will all just disappear?” I remarked.  “We left hard evidence, more than enough to put both of us behind bars.  What’s the point of covering our tracks if we’re already screwed?  We should run.”

“Don’t be an idiot, Victor,” Grant retorted.  “Dad has connections.  If we run, we’ll just be asking for trouble.  After this blows over we can secure a couple of passports and fly to Kiev.”

I gritted my teeth.  The cold metal of the magnum was freezing my hand, and I couldn’t feel my fingers.  The weight of my racing thoughts pulverized my mind into small pieces.  After 2 sleepless nights, there was still no end in sight.  

“Tch. You think this will just ‘blow over?’ Last time dad got caught up in the mafia, he lost his company.  And he nearly got mom killed.”

“We can protect them, but not unless you cooperate with me!  Give me the gun.  You were never man enough to use it anyway.”

“It takes more than combat gear to make a man, Grant.” 

“Not in the real world.  You live in a land of fantasy, brother, and it will get you killed.”

“I don’t care.  I don’t want to be a part of this.”

“Too late!  You should’ve thought of that an hour ago, when we held the lives of 16 innocent people in our hands.  I’m done arguing with you, now hand it over!”

I slugged him in the face with as much force as I could muster.  My hand was too numb to feel the impact, but I knew it was enough.  I tore out of the alley and hopped into the black SUV, throwing the magnum into the back as I turned the key in the ignition.  As I sped off down the narrow streets of London, I heard my brother scream something demonic behind me.  

Our family reunions were always pretty dramatic.


 “That makes 16.”

Detective Sam Vancouver wasn’t paying attention.  He was looking into the London night sky, trying to make out various star constellations.  Even after the witching hour, they were hardly perceptible.

“Damn light pollution.”

“Did you hear me, Sam?” toned Alec, Sam’s partner, “16 dead, all shot.  Not only that, but every one of them was shot square in the head.  Damn good marksmanship, that is.  Sam, I-”

“None of them seem to be of much political importance.  In fact, none of them appear to be remarkable by any stretch of the imagination.  Three are even ex-convicts.  Can we just write up the damn report and get out of here?  I’m supposed to watch the meteor shower with my son in the morning.”

Alec sighed, “I don’t know if it’ll be that simple.  Due to the magnitude of the shooting we might be asked to stay on call for a full 24 hours.  The captain’ll do a press release and the whole bit.  We’re as good as dogs for now.”

“Yeah? Well-”

That all-to-familiar vibration of Sam’s cell phone sent a reflex through his arm and fingers. 


A sleek voice toned, “Samuel Vancouver.  732 Cromwell Street, London, England.  Age 36, caucasian with brown hair, blue eyes, 6 feet even.  You went to Grover Secondary School and-”

“Who the hell is this?”

“Now that I have your attention, please get in your car and head to the address I’m about to text you.  We’ll have more to discuss in the near future.  Don’t worry about losing your job or your family.  As long as you cooperate, everything will be just chipper.”

The phone clicked.  

“Alec, I’m gonna run for some coffee.  Want anything?”


The End

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